Launching of 150th Jubilee Year of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Myanmar (1866-2016)
On 5th February 2015, the Good Shepherd Sisters in Myanmar launched a one year preparation for the 150th Jubilee celebration of the Good Shepherd presence in Myanmar which will be held on the 16th of January, 2016.
The first missionaries Sisters of the Good Shepherd were sent to Myanmar in 1865 from Angers, France by our foundress St. Mary Euphrasia responding to the request of Bishop Paul Ambrose Bigandet, the first Vicar Apostolic of Lower Myanmar.
Upon arrival in Myanmar on 8th February 1866, the Sisters began to manage a School in Yangon formerly run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Down the years, the Sisters gradually expanded the Good Shepherd mission in Yangon establishing Schools, boarding facilities and a home for disadvantaged girls and women.
In 1966, with the nationalization of the schools and the expulsion of missionaries, all the Good Shepherd missionaries were forced out of the mission and the country, leaving behind 10 local young Sisters, 9 of whom were in initial formation. In 1967, the Myanmar sisters were brought out of the country for formation and international experience. There were no Good Shepherd Sisters in Myanmar from 1967 to 1973.
The year 1973 marked another significant date in the history of Good Shepherd in Myanmar as the Sisters returned to refound the congregation and to re-establish the Good Shepherd missions in their native land. Since 1973 up to the present, Myanmar Good Shepherd Mission has extended to 5 dioceses. At this time of 150th Jubilee celebration, 50 Good Shepherd Sisters in 6 communities and 3 satellites together with lay mission partners, are responding to the needs of the people in Myanmar.
On the 4th of February, 2015 Myanmar Good Shepherd Sisters all over the country gathered in Yangon community which was the first community started in 1866 by the missionaries sent by Mother Foundress from Angers. On the 5th February, the Jubilee launching and thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at 6 am with Good Shepherd staff, lay associates, friends, benefactors and people in our Good Shepherd ministry. During the Mass, the Jubilee logo and the Jubilee staff were blessed. At 9:30 am, the Sisters started a half day recollection and sharing on the Jubilee year reflection paper. In the afternoon at 2:30 pm, Sisters and all Good Shepherd people gathered together for the opening ceremony of Jubilee year by a simple and meaningful ritual.